Literary evidence refers to the paucity of harbours along the Adriatic Sea, though archaeological research clarified that this region has hosted a high number of Roman ports and landing points. Scholars have often considered their remains from a limited historical perspective, but a deeper insight into the port system of a selected area of this macro-region may indicate the presence of a more intricate network of harbour installations. This paper analyses the network of Roman ports in North Adriatic Italy and explores selected major (Aquileia, Ravenna), regional and satellite ports (Grado, Iulia Concordia, Altino, Venetian lagoon and Po Delta, and Rimini), through an examination of literary, archaeological, epigraphic and topographic sources. This paper investigates the port network of the NW Adriatic by exploring its development, operation and relevance from the first to the fifth century ad. Using gis to integrate topographic observations and excavation data, the first section summarises the form and development of the two major ports above mentioned, and identifies their recurring component elements, including jetties, moles, horrea, and lighthouses. It analyses their construction, scale, layout, and topographic setting and argues for their monumental character. The second section investigates the network of satellite ports as distributors of commodities in support to the major hubs. Using archaeological and epigraphic data on harbour installations, it assesses the satellite ports' relationships with their major ones, and their connections in the pan-Adriatic region and beyond. The third section examines harbours' capacity and scale. The fourth section analyses shipwrecks, maritime routes and itineraries. The fifth section assesses sailing conditions and connectivity. The sixth section puts forward conclusions.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021 Fabrizio Serra Editore. All rights reserved.
- NW Adriatic
- Port Network
- Roman Italy
- Venetian Lagoon
ASJC Scopus subject areas